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PKU Personalities: Meet PKU's Guinness World Record Twins

JAN . 05 2021
Peking University, January 5, 2021: N.Munkhshur and N.Enkhshur are twin sisters from Mongolia, and are currently second-year students at the History Department of Peking University. Prior to their enrollment as full-time undergraduate students, they attended a year of Pre-University Program at PKU. N.Munkhshur and N.Enkhshur are also Guinness World Record holders for memory sports.

N.Munkhshur (Left) and N.Enkhshur (Right)

Winning the Guinness World Record

At the 26th World Memory Championships in 2017, N.Enkhshur memorized 5,445 binary digits in 30 minutes and N.Munkhshur memorized 37 decks of playing cards in an hour-long competition that earned both of them a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. 

N.Munkhshur and N.Enkhshur have been memory athletes for about 4 years now, and it wasn't until their end years of high school that they realised their interests in memory sports. Due to their academic priorities, they waited till they graduated from high school to pursue their interests in memory sports. After high school, they took a year to prepare themselves by trying and practising new memorization methods.

They started off with local competitions, slowly building themselves through practice and experience in order to participate in international competitions and eventually to win the Guinness World Records in Memory Sports title. N.Munkhshur specializes in memorizing mainly numbers, while N.Enkhshur's is better with pictures and historical facts.

Munkhshur became the Asian champion after winning the overall title at the 2017 Asian Memory Championship.

N.Munkhshur and N.Enkhshur, in a relatively short time, have been able to impressively build themselves into memory sports athletes and win the world records. However, this journey is not without challenges and obstacles. They emphasized that during such competitions, the most important thing is to "always believe in yourself" and "never allow emotions to overtake your focus". Initially, there have been times when they allowed nervousness to impact their performance and doubted their abilities. However, this was all part of their learning process.

After participating in competitions, cultivating experience and going through many lessons, N.Munkhshur and N.Enkhshur confidently state that "memory is limitless" and this very belief has not only helped them in competitions but also in their personal lives. Memory sports demands daily practice and exercises which the twins believe have enhanced their proactiveness and rids them from laziness.

Twin sisters attended "Incredible People" TV show at Moscow, Russia. They memorized the pattern and sequence of 1200 red and white roses during the show.

Keeping their brain busy and working helps them focus on increasing their memory every day. Along with the Guinness World Records, they have won over 200 awards and more than 27 trophies. Currently, N.Munkhshur and N.Enkhshur are preparing for yet another competition which has been postponed till 2021.

Posing with 220 medals & 24 trophies to date

From Mongolia to China

Since the establishment of Sino-Mongolian diplomatic relationship in 1949, bilateral relations have further strengthened over the years. It is no doubt that N.Munkhshur and N.Enkhshur became beneficiaries of this cordial cultural relationship when they started learning Chinese during their middle school years back in Mongolia.

The initial thought of coming to China for further studies was put upon by their Chinese teachers in middle school, but the final call was made when the twin sisters eventually laid their eyes on the PKU Library, which was featured in Peking University's promotional video.

The vibrant and holistic environment at PKU intrigued the determined two to brush up on their Chinese language and finally earned their places at Peking University's Pre-University Program.

Picture with PKU President Hao Ping during the Orientation Program at PKU

The journey was tough, but worth it. Compared to their other Mongolian classmates back then who have been learning the Chinese Language for over five years, N.Munkhshur and N.Enkhshur were often intimidated with their little experience and exposure to the language, but eventually took a leap and left no regrets as they trudge through the language barriers with strong perseverance. “We thought that having an international experience would be good, and PKU is the place. And so, we are up for this challenge. ”

The twins credited the Pre-University Program as a great bridge towards acquiring for studies at the undergraduate level here in Peking University, as the two years provided the twins with the essential foundation to manage the Chinese-taught undergraduate courses at PKU. N.Munkhshur and N.Enkhshur took the two years to engage actively in the Chinese culture and language, and eventually moved on to studying World History at Peking University's History Department. N.Munkhshur and N.Enkhshur could never forget that very quote their Pre-University teacher spoke to them: "努力学习是重要的,但坚持努力更重要" ("Studying hard is important, but being persistent in studying hard is more important"). The core spirit of humility and determination in being a memory athlete has pushed the twins further in overcoming language hurdles during their time in China. 

The Dream School

If there is one word to be used to describe PKU, it will certainly be "Nurturing" for the twin sisters. The holistic campus environment provided the twin sisters various opportunities to showcase their talents, and further their interest in the History field.

With the passion and unfaltering drive for learning, N.Munkhshur and N.Enkhshur are further impelled by their Chinese classmates, as they observe how their classmates were able to balance greatly between their academics and non-academic commitments. "We used to think that the Chinese students would only study and read books, but now that we started studying in the same environment as them, we see how the Chinese students place equal importance in self-development, social life and their academics. Their proactiveness in participating in various events and activities was simply admirable."

Igniting cross-cultural bonds & reliving the dancer genes

The two memory athletes are also passionate dancers and were often invited to perform at various stage events since middle school. The twins were also invited to perform at Peking University's New Year's Gala, where they performed a Chinese cultural dance, Peacock Dance. The twin sisters are also active participants in the various international events in PKU such as the annual International Culture Festival (ICF).

Singing traditional songs during the 2019 PKU New Years Party

With 2 more years at PKU and China, N.Munkhshur and N.Enkhshur are looking forward to making the most out of their time and opportunities that come their way. They furthermore, intend to continue carrying their title as World Record holders, making both Mongolia and PKU proud.

Written by:
Goh Chia Chia, Aneka R. Rajbhandari
Editted by: Pu Hairui
Produced by: Amanda Hu
Photo credit to: N.Munkhshur and N.Enkhshur
Designed by: Goh Chia Chia, Pu Hairui